Mood is a category applied to verbs. This allows a speaker to express their attitude toward what they are saying (for example, whether it is intended as a statement of fact, of desire, of command, etc.). Much more detail in GGBB p. 442ff. Most verbs are in the indicative mood which is the mood of simple declaration or question:
- Did you sleep last night?
- I slept well last night.
The subjunctive mood implies possibility or potential. In English, use a helping verb like “might” or “would”.
- If you go sailing, you must wear your life jacket.
- I might go fishing tomorrow.
There are four moods: indicative, subjunctive, optative, imperative.
- Most verbs are in the indicative mood which is the mood of simple declaration or question.
- Verbs in the subjunctive mood are usually found in dependent clauses to express wishes, commands, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, necessity, or statements that are contrary to fact at present.
- The optative mood is a mood that indicates a wish or hope. It is similar to the cohortative in Hebrew, and closely related to the subjunctive mood; see GGBB p. 480.
- A verb in the imperative mood is giving a command.
Reference is some times made to the volitional moods.